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The Secret Sydney Guide To Jervis Bay

Marco Ruiz Marco Ruiz - Sponsored SMN Writer (APAC) - Staff Writer (Aus)

The Secret Sydney Guide To Jervis Bay

The whitest sands in the world are only 200 clicks from Sydney.

Technically part of the ACT, Jervis Bay is home to Hyams Beach and sixteen other white sand beaches meaning that if one is packed, another isn’t far away. But there’s more to Jervis Bay than white sandy beaches. There’s bush too and winter packs a great weekend away if your goal is to avoid the masses.

Getting There

Drive. In just under three hours you will get to Jervis Bay. It’s the easiest option. Head south of Sydney along the Grand Pacific Drive (you get to traverse its entire 140 kilometres) passing the iconic Sea Cliff Bridge and a number of coastal towns surrounded by wineries, natural attractions and adventure activities. It would hardly be a surprise if one day you come back to the region based on something you saw along the way to Jervis Bay.

If driving isn’t an option, you can still make it to Jervis Bay another two ways. The first is PT. Catch the train from Central Station to Bomaderry Station (just across the Shoalhaven River from Nowra) and then bussit to Huskinsson (check here and here). You’ll be lucky to make it under four hours but you’ll make it.

Option number three is to get on a tour from Sydney and let them do all the work for you. Most day trips will include a stop at Bulli Lookout (just north of Wollongong) as well as the Kiama Blowhole.

Things To Do And See In Jervis Bay

If you’ve come to Jervis Bay, then you’ve probably come to do something water and/or bush related. After all, Jervis Bay is a marine life paradise since fishing is illegal and the area is surrounded by Booderee National Park in the south and Jervis Bay National Park in the north.

The Beaches

Which beach do you want to check out first? Is it Hyams? Or maybe it’s one of the quieter beaches like Nelsons where dogs are allowed off the leash between 4-8pm, or maybe it’s Collingwood Beach popular with windsurfers and stand-up paddleboarders.

Perhaps Callala Bay and Callala Beach is your preferred destination with their long stretches of white sand and local shops nearby. Or if you’re looking for a spot to catch the sunset, then try Murray’s Beach but, then again, you’d hardly complain about the setting sun over the mainland from wherever you are.

SEE ALSO: 20 Of The Most Breathtaking Beaches In Sydney

Walks And Hikes

Want to knock off a few beaches in one afternoon? Go on the White Sands Walk beginning at Vincentina Sailing Club at Plantation Point and ending at Hyams Beach. It’s an easy 10-kilometre return-trip walk that will lead you past a number of beaches including Greenfield Beach, which was named one of The Guardian UK’s top ten beaches in the world.

You could also walk to Steamers Beach, a short three-kilometre trek through the bush from the carpark which, if you really wanted to, could be extended out to a 20-kilometre circuit through Booderee National Park for the more adventurous. However, it’s best not to swim at Steamers Beach due to frequent tows as well as shark sitings. For a dip, try Kittys Beach or Whiting Beach. Just follow the St George’s headland trail.

For the curious out there, Gossangs Tunnel is a must. Just an hour return walk along the Abraham’s Bosom Reserve track in Currarong, explorers will come across a small tunnel hidden amongst the shrubbery where, if they’re not claustrophobic, will crawl 20 metres and come to see the beautiful sea cliffs on the other side. And since you’re in Currarong already, don’t forget about the Point Perpendicular Lighthouse that you saw in the distance from the White Sands Walk or check out the absolutely stunning Honeymoon Bay.

For a gentle stroll, the Boodaree Botanic Gardens offer a fantastic option. They are also the only Aboriginal-owned botanic gardens in Australia so there’s plenty to learn and appreciate.

On The Water Or Under

Humpback whale and dolphin watch.

Snorkle and scuba dive.

Kayak and paddleboard.

Boat around the bay for a day.

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Remember that Jervis Bay is a protected marine park and it is quite unique with its distinct geology and oceanography, relatively natural and undeveloped coastline and mix of ecosystems, habitats, and flora and fauna.

The ocean and sea currents enter Jervis Bay and flow clockwise essentially flushing it out every 24 hours or so. Consequently, the region supports over 230 algae, hundreds of invertebrate and over 210 reef fish species, and sharks, rays, many marine mammals, birds and reptiles, including several threatened species.

Out Of The Water

Sometimes at the end of a long day exploring, all you want to do is kick back with a good beer and relax. If that sounds like you, head down to Jervis Bay Brewing Co. in Huskisson for ‘good beer, good people and a damn good time’.

Or, if the rains have ruined your plans,  why not go catch a movie at Huskisson Pictures. It was once a community hall built way back in 1913 but has been showing films since the 1950s. Don’t think you’ll be sitting on fold-out chairs though, as the quaint cinema got a great renovation in the 1990s which saw it decked out.

For those interested in maritime history, the Jervis Bay Maritime Museum impresses visitors with a range of artefacts and collections including the Lady Denman ferry which operated on Sydney Harbour from 1912 until 1979.

Where To Eat In Jervis Bay

So you’ve worked up an appetite and today you don’t want to be bothered with the cooking. Easy, neither do I. Thankfully, Jervis Bay makes eating out a simple thing to do.

Can you really say you know a town if you haven’t been to the local hotel/pub? Even if you answer yes, a visit to the affectionately called The Husky should definitely be on your list of places to check out. For close to 100 years it has remained the focal point of the town and continues to bring people together from Thursday trivia nights to live music on Fridays and Saturdays. It’d be a shame if you missed it.

For Vegetarians in the know, Huskisson is also home to Pilgrims Vegetarian Cafe. Yep, the very same mini-chain of cafes that also has a locale in Cronulla. In the area, you’ve also got Mexican by wat of 3 Gringos, Japanese at Kanpai, and burgers from 5 Little Pigs.

Last but least is Hyams Beach Store And Cafe, which you will most certainly see as it’s only 150 metres from the beach with the whitest sand in the world. They also have a two-bedroom apartment you can sleep in.

Where To Sleep In Jervis Bay

Camp, glamp, or shack up in a shed. In Jervis Bay, there’s something for everybody. But whatever you decide, if you plan to go in summer, you better book in advance. Months in advance. And with some places, you’re probably going to want to be making that reservation a year ahead.

For more accommodation options, head over to the Jervis Bay Tourism website and see what suits you, your friends and family best.

Heading west to the Blue Mountains instead? Ensure you know where to go and what to see with our Secret Sydney Guide To The Blue Mountains.

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Things To Do